Archive for May, 2010

Another good 3/5 session last night.  Wacky hand (that went my way) of the night:

In a winning series of hands, I follow the UTG limper with a raise to $35 with 56 offsuit.  I have about $800 in front of me.  A guy in middle position calls, everybody folds around to the original limper, who dramatically decides he’s going to go all in for his last $90.

Of course I realize I am in big trouble against him, but I call for the 2-1, planning to play the hand against the mp.  Unfortunately, with $500 still in front of him, and with position on me, he makes a ridiculous fold.  Why would he do such a thing?  Oh yes…the two players in question are brothers.


The flop is 4 10 Q.  When the 8 comes on the turn, he flips his 88 over and starts celebrating.  I suppose the river 7 was inevitable…

I tried to look a little embarrassed as I scooped the pot.  If nothing else, it gave him something to complain about for the next hour.


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A few weeks ago I commented to several different people that I seemed to be “functioning” really well.  My head was clear, I was never at a loss for words, I felt like I was getting “smarter”, in an odd sort of way.  This was remarkable, at least to me, because of the current exhausting schedule: maintaining responsibility for my daughters while trying to get two new companies going.

For the past several days I’ve been feeling not-so-great.  My head is not clear, I am feeling a little overwhelmed by (albeit optimistic about) work, I’m not recovering quickly from little knocks picked up in my sports games.

And yet…

My family was out of the country this past weekend.  I worked all day each day, and played at Lucky Chances each night.  And with the exception of Sunday night (classic mistake of arriving too late and jumping in short handed), I played spectacular poker.  Granted only at 3/5 no limit, but still, I was SO on all weekend.  Perfect timing, excellent reads, no fear.  Monday night was the first time I ever felt like I had a license to print money, it was that good.  People were just giving up against me if they held anything other than the nuts.


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Lucky Chances runs a promotion during certain hours where if you lose with AA you get a rack of the chips of the color at your table (or $300 total in the 5/10 no limit game).  I’ve never really liked this kind of thing in principal, its EV- for everybody, as everybody is paying for it, like playing the lottery.  Then I hit it on Saturday night.

And now I really don’t like it.

Starting with $350, I’m dealt AA in the BB with about 5 callers in front of me.  Realizing I could win if I lose, I play it passively right through the turn.  Board went something like K 10 7 5 2.  The same guy led the betting the whole time, small raise pre flop, c-bets on the flop and turn.  By the river I’m down to about $150, and he quickly puts me (and the other remaining guy) all in when the 2 comes.  At this point I am sure I’m going to lose, but the call is obvious.  Sure enough, he played K2 strong from the start and got lucky on the river.  As it turns out he picked up a flush draw on the turn, so there was likely no way I would be able to bet him out there.

SO, in retrospect: Without the AA cracked promo, I raise from the BB pre-flop, and given the hands, probably take the pot right there, netting about $60, leaving me with $410.  I may or may not have been able to take it down on the flop with a big bet, possible netting about $75-$100.  But by the turn, if I was going to win the bonus, I was certainly going to lose my stack.

I’m still not sure, but I think the best rule may be that in a no-limit game, if you start with more than the aces cracked bonus in front of you, your long term best ev bet is to simply try and take the pot as you normally would (unless, of course, your opponents are short stacked, in which case things change again).  What a great game we play.

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I sense that Friday afternoons may become a fairly regular thing.  I have sitter to take care of the kids, and its a really inefficient time to work, nobody is around, nobody cares…

I’ll keep working on justifications.

In the meantime, I did play 3/5 for a few hours again yesterday, and netted a cool…wait for it…$77.  But actually a good result, very cold deck, and a couple of bad beats.

The big hand was AA in the hole (good), raising to $25 (OK), getting four callers (not so good), flopping a set (very good), and getting all in on the turn against a draw who called with improper odds (excellent, as it turned out).

The best hand was the following: having established a nice comfort zone, I am playing more hands, and I make a small raise with 56 o from early position.  Several callers.  I continue with a 3/4 pot size bet on a 10 J 4 flop, and get one, somewhat reticent, caller.  He has about $300 left at that point, I have him covered.  Turn is a very interesting K (no flush draws).  I bet $100, he calls again, and again doesn’t seem to be all that enthusiastic about it (I find that means top pair on the flop as often as not).

My head was actually pretty clear at this point, and I identified two lines of thought.  First was what he was calling with.  He couldn’t have been THAT strong.  Maybe JQ, picking up the draw on the turn?  Either something like that or AQ and I was dead, though a raise on the turn was likely in that spot.

But more interesting was what he read me as having.  The river was a blank, and after thinking about it for a while, I put him all in for $200.  He quickly pounded the table and folded, and muttered something about the K killing his hand.  I’m not sure exactly what he had, nor what he thought I had.  The point is that my pre-flop raise, the first of FOUR bluffs, gave the river bluff some credibility on a board full of color.

One doesn’t want to do this too much, but there is certainly a place for the occasional preflop raise with 56 offsuit in early position.

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Another day session this past Friday afternoon.  And another positive session, this time significantly so.

Only about 2.5 hours at 3/5 no limit.  Spent the better part of that time somewhere between even and + 300.  Then the big hand right at the end, turning the A-high flush against the K-high flush with a bigger stack  (AND a short stack with a lower flush), and managing to get all in.  Sucks for him.

He seemed to know.  I think I did a good job looking like I didn’t want a call, because he was talking about what a laydown it was going to be just before he called.  He just couldn’t lay down his K high flush.  I’ve been wondering if I, as someone who historically calls way too much, could have.

With about $150 in the pot on the flop (a small bet and a few calls but no raise) and with $570 in front of me (he had me covered and had position), I check and he bets about $130, the other flush calls all in (about $100), and I quickly raise all in (additional $440).  So he has to call $440 with $950 in the pot,  getting better than 2-1 with the second nut hand.  I suppose its an obvious call.  But again: it didn’t FEEL right to him.

I’m not mathematically inclined enough to work it all out.  I actually started to write about how likely it was that I had the nut flush or a set or a lower flush or a weird semi bluff and whether or not all the possibilities justified his call.  It got really convoluted.  I just hope that at the very least, rather than insta-calling just because my hand is good and so are the pot odds, I can maintain a clear enough head to evaluate what happened to get to that point.  He said he was hoping I had a set, but I rarely would be so passive with a set on a drawing board in a multiway pot on the flop.

Either way, I seem to be getting the bug.  Too bad no time.

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